Even if you know all about chiropractic care and have had multiple sessions with your doctor, there’s a good chance you haven’t heard much about “pediatric chiropractic” care unless you have young children. In fact, this specialization within the general field of chiropractic medicine has been around for more than 100 years. In medical offices all over the world, chiropractic physicians use gentle techniques, many of which are directly derived from adult-oriented methods, on infants, toddlers, preteens, and children of all ages.
Since 1986, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) represents physicians who specialize in treating expectant mothers, their infants, and older children. Today, thousands of chiropractors have added this specialty to their general practice and begun to incorporate children into their daily programs of treatment.
What Do Pediatric Chiropractors Do?
All medical exams, regardless of the patient’s age, begin with a comprehensive evaluation. That’s the case when you bring your child to the medical office for an exam and possible treatment. The doctor will begin by gently performing a full evaluation, using hands only, not needles.
After the initial exam, the doctor will check out the status of several essential physical systems: sensory processes, pelvic position, spinal alignment, the nervous system, muscle tone, various reflexes, There are no invasive tools used and the entire exam is quite gentle in its approach. As a matter of routine practice, parents are nearby while the child receives an exam.
Because chiropractors know that some children have a low-level phobia of all things medical, your child is given time to get used to being in the office and seeing what goes on there. Once the youngsters realize that mom or dad will be with them during the exam, and understand that they aren’t “getting shots,” those early fears tend to evaporate rather quickly.
At that point, you will have a discussion with the doctor about the test results and find out whether your child is a good candidate for chiropractic treatment. If you decide, based on what the chiropractor suggests, that you want your child to receive treatment, then you’ll need to give consent and work with the staff on a schedule for the child’s upcoming visits.
That’s the basic way things work when you bring your son or daughter into the chiropractor’s office for an initial evaluation. In order to understand in a more detailed way what pediatric chiropractors do, it’s helpful to answer common questions about the benefits of such care for children, safety, how treatment typically works for pediatric patients, when children should begin seeing a chiropractor, and the types of conditions treated.
Is Chiropractic Treatment Safe for Children?
Not only is chiropractic care completely safe for children of all ages, it’s also an effective alternative to antibiotics and other drugs that are sometimes prescribed for things like ear infections.
If you’ve visited a chiropractor for your own purposes, you already know that treatment never includes drugs of any kind or invasive procedures like surgery. This is a big plus in the eyes of parents who worry about the unknown and potentially troublesome side-effects of things like antibiotics. The bottom line is that pediatric care delivered by chiropractors is safe and effective, so moms and dads can rest assured that their children are getting the very best in terms of healthcare.
What Conditions Do Pediatric Chiropractors Treat?
Every child is different, but there are about a dozen conditions that cause parents to bring their kids to chiropractors. Colic, also called frequent crying or fussiness in infants, is a good example of a condition that is unique to children and for which chiropractic treatment can bring relief.
What, specifically, does a pediatric chiropractor do and treat? For starters, the doctor works to discover whether the child’s spinal health is good. This is one of the key parts of the initial exam because subluxations can affect health of the nervous system, the immune system, neurological growth, and many other physical systems of the body.
What kinds of conditions do children get help with? Here are a few of the typical illnesses and medical problems that pediatric chiropractors treat on a regular basis:
- All sorts of sleep problems
- Injuries resulting from sports and playing
- Multiple forms of digestive conditions
- A wide range of allergies
- Both mild and severe ear infections
- Tension and migraine headaches
- Severe and mild types of asthma
- Colic in babies
- Problems related to mental focus and concentration
When Should Your Child See a Chiropractor?
There’s no minimum age or maximum age for seeing a chiropractor. That’s because chiropractic physicians treat the entire person, whether the patient is a newborn infant or an elderly adult. Literally everyone can benefit from this holistic, non-invasive type of treatment.
Some expectant mothers who regularly visit a chiropractor bring their newborn in for a visit when the baby is just a few days old. There are many conditions the doctor can address, like colic, breastfeeding problems, ear infections (common in some infants), and more. It’s important to remember that parents always accompany their children during a chiropractic visit and that the doctor uses very gentle techniques on young, fragile bodies.
How Children Benefit from Pediatric Chiropractic Care
How do kids benefit from chiropractic care? There are dozens of ways, but a few of the most common include the following:
- An enhanced immune system: When spinal alignment is out of kilter, kids can experience problems with immune response due to a neurological system that suffers impairments. It’s common for kids to get fewer colds and similar ailments when they are seeing a chiropractor regularly.
- More restful sleep: No matter how old your kids are, when they are treated for pain and discomfort they tend to fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. Many parents notice positive changes in sleep patterns after children begin to visit a chiropractor regularly.
- A more positive attitude and agreeable behavior: When the doctor helps restore proper spinal alignment, kids tend to have a more robust nervous system and better neurological health. That typically translates into behavior changes that moms and dads notice, like better behavior and attitudes.
Taking the First Step
If you have any questions about your child’s specific situation or would like to schedule an exam, call our offices at Delaware Integrative Healthcare at your convenience. Our chiropractors are experienced with treating children of all ages and can answer some of your basic questions over the phone. It’s best to set up an appointment for a no-cost, in-person consultation and find out exactly whether chiropractic care can benefit your child. Pediatric chiropractic treatment can go a long way toward alleviating your child’s ear pain, colic, concentration problems, immune response challenges, allergies, asthma, ADHD, sleep disturbances, sports injuries, headaches, and much more.
Our office phone is (302) 744-8650. Plus, you can email us at [email protected] whenever you wish. We’re always happy to answer your questions about chiropractic care for children of all ages.